The Macondo Well — the Marquez connection

Does someone at BP have a literary bent or is it just a coincidence? The Deepwater Horizon catastrophe which struck back in April (and which is still inflicting so much grief to the people of the gulf of Mexico today) was caused by a ruptured undersea well which was named Macondo. Now who named this well and why?

Macondo, as anyone who tried to read Gabriel Garcia Marquez when they were a teenager will tell you, is the fictional town in One Hundred Years of Solitude. I remember three things about that book — one, I didn’t understand it very well, two some guy dies while urinating against a tree and three, there is a memorable opening sentence:

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendia was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. . .”

What was the reasoning behind BP’s naming of the well? Did they, like the young boy in Marquez’ novel, marvel at the newness and promise of a substance nobody in his world had ever laid eyes upon? The future of oil is deep and underwater — so it’s no too far a stretch to imagine the wide-eyed wonder with which those early BP explorers regarded the first geological reports from the Gulf of Mexico.

Did someone in BP’s engineering division in an excited babble rush up to Tony Hayward’s office and, spreading the survey out in front of him like Drake sprinkling treasure in front of his Queen, declared in hushed tones that something new and wonderful was ready to be tapped?

Blogger George Glasser reckons the choice of name was something random. . . but I’m not so sure . . . . but like George I can’t help but note the apocalyptic parallels between OHYOS and what’s happening to BP.

“It was the last that remained of a past whose annihilation had not taken place because it was still in a process of annihilation, consuming itself from within, ending at every moment but never ending its ending.”

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